Robert Kirkman's 'Thief of Thieves' Adds 'Generation Hope' Scribe for Second Arc (Exclusive)

Theif of Theives 8 James Asmus Inset - P 2012
<p>Theif of Theives 8 James Asmus Inset - P 2012</p>
James Asmus, whose credits also include penning Marvel's "X-Men: Manifest Destiny," will take the lead on Skybound/Image's crime caper.

Robert Kirkman's crime story Thief of Thieves has lifted a writer from Generation Hope to take the lead on the second arc of the Skybound/Image title.

Playwright and comic scribe James Asmus will take over as head writer on the best-selling comic series starting with the eighth issue of the series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Asmus, whose comic credits include X-Men: Manifest Destiny, Generation Hope and The Runaways, takes over following Nick Spencer's first arc of the series.

Thief of Thieves, which through five issues has sold out its first printing runs, was created by The Walking Dead's Kirkman and based on his experience in the writers' room of the AMC zombie drama and will feature a revolving cadre of comic scribes. Kirkman will continue to oversee the series.

STORY: Robert Kirkman's 'Thief of Thieves' No. 5 Preview (Exclusive)

"I first discovered James' writing through Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard, who had read and enjoyed a few of the comics he'd written at Marvel," Kirkman said. "Once I dove in myself, I could clearly see that this guy had great things ahead of him. I'm flattered that he's lending his talents to Thief of Thieves and I think fans of the series are really going to enjoy his work on it."

In addition to his comic duties, Asmus is an award-winning playwright, taking home a handful of New York and Chicago awards for his work on Love Is Dead.

"My love of storytelling is rooted in character and [Kirkman's] writing in comics, and now television, is consistently filled with some of the most honest and interesting characters around," Asmus said."With Thief of Thieves, Kirkman has already created an incredibly dynamic and rich cast of charactersso there's no shortage of great possibilities flying around as we plot everyone's stories. I really feel like I get to play to my strengths on this book more than I have in any other comic."

STORY: 'Walking Dead' Creator Robert Kirkman Developing New Show for AMC

Asmus, repped by Madhouse Entertainment, will begin his run with Thief of Thieves No. 8, due Sept. 5.

The comic, which revolves around master thief Redmond attempting to reclaim his life as Conrad Paulson, continues to be drawn by Shawn Martinbrough and is in development as a potential TV series at AMC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit